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 Converting a P226 DAO to traditional DA/SA
steve88GT  [Member]
2/1/2008 7:38:38 PM EDT
Can an older P226 that is DAO be converted to a traditional DA/SA by the factory? This one was made in the mid 90's most likely and is a two tone, nickle slide and black frame.


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Reservoir_Dog  [Team Member]
2/1/2008 7:52:18 PM EDT
They will be able to convert it DA/SA. If you don't have the decock lever, you will have pay for one when they do the conversion. I sent my P229 back to SIG to have it converted to DAO. It was a simple parts swap. A certified SIG gunsmith will probably be able to do the job for you, if you don't want to send it back to SIG.
steve88GT  [Member]
2/1/2008 8:17:48 PM EDT
Thanks Reservior Dog,

I don't have one. My dad does and he doesn't care for it and was thinking about changing the parts. He picked it up cheap for $300.00. Do you think it was a good deal only to have to get new parts to convert it? How much for parts to do it yourself vs send it to Sig? Or would he have been better off and finding a DA/SA used for more money?

Reservoir_Dog  [Team Member]
2/1/2008 8:53:48 PM EDT
$300! Damn good price if it is in good shape. I wish I could have got my 226 for that price. I am not sure how much a decock lever costs, but the conversion is mainly labor, and is not very expensive. I can't remember how much SIG charged me to convert my 229 to DAO, but is was not much, less than $50 (but that was 10 years ago).

Even with the conversion to DA/SA, your dad will have paid less than a good used DA/SA 226.

ETA: Brownell's has a decock lever for a 226 for $5.03 (blued) and $14.00 (nickel). There are probably some other parts that will be needed, such as springs and the like, but I don't think that the parts required for the conversion will be very expensive.
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199  [Team Member]
2/1/2008 11:30:13 PM EDT
IIRC, you’ll need a new hammer (which will be the most expensive part), a decock lever, a decock lever bearing plate, and a decock lever spring.

You only need to swap out the hammer and install the other parts. Get yourself an armorer’s video on SIG’s from Brownells and (assuming you’re fairly handy) you can do it yourself.

I believe SIG has the cost of them doing the conversion listed on their websight.

If your dad’s SIG was made (i.e. assembled) in Germany, you can essentially get the date of manufacture based on the proof marks on the bottom, front of the slide near the muzzle. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the date codes needed to read the proof marks in front of me.)
Reservoir_Dog  [Team Member]
2/2/2008 12:10:13 AM EDT
Yeah, if you need a new hammer, that will raise the cost a quite a bit. I don't remember if they swapped the hammer out on my 229. I don't remember them returning the old hammer to me when they did the conversion.

ETA: I just checked SIG's website, and they charge $200 to convert a DAO or DAK to DA/SA. Seems like prices have gone up in 10 years. Mine didn't cost anywhere near that, but I was going the opposite way (DA/SA to DAO), so I needed fewer parts. Even if your dad sent it to SIG for the work, he would only have around $500 in the pistol. Still not bad for a 226.
199  [Team Member]
2/2/2008 2:55:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Reservoir_Dog:
... Mine didn't cost anywhere near that, but I was going the opposite way (DA/SA to DAO) ...

That no doubt explains the lower cost.

Converting from SA/DA to DAO doesn’t require any new parts at all. You grind the SA sear notch off the existing hammer and simply remove the other parts I've already listed.

Probably takes all of maybe five minutes of work.
steve88GT  [Member]
2/4/2008 6:36:45 PM EDT
Thanks Reservior Dog and 199 for the info.

I think I am going to do the conversion myself. I have The Gun Digest Book of Firearms Disassembly/Reassembly, Pistols Vol. 1 and it seems pretty easy to detail strip and put back together.

It has a little "N" under a big "KB" under the forward portion of the slide. Any idea what year it was made?

Actually I got it not my dad for $299.97. It was at a Gander Mountain and they were having a clearance sale. It was marked $450.00 with a tag above it saying to take $150.00 off of the marked price. This was last Friday when I first saw it and kind of blew it off when I saw it was DAO. But it was really clean. And the grips have the slot for the decocker which I remember the factory DAO gun's grips don't have the slot. So I think it was a factory or home conversion.

I'd say it was carried more than shot. The frame rails are still black without any wear. The grip has a couple of dings and there is a small mark where it looked like the previous owner's rings knicked it in the grip frame. Zero holster wear but the nickel slide makes it hard to tell how much it was carried in a holster since it is still dull on the edges and not polished up. No box and only one USA brand el cheapo hi-cap mag. No big deal as I usually have at least five hi-caps on hand anyway.

Anyway I posted the above questions to fish around to see if it was worth getting. I knew in my mind that it was too good to be true so I didn't sleep a wink last night thinking it would be gone. This morning I called Gander right when they opened and the guy said it was gone. But he sounded like he never saw it before. I worked in a gunshop and we had the cases memorized. We knew what was in the store all the time. So this guy didn't look too hard or worked part time. I went up there at lunch just to be safe and there it still was. So I stripped it and it looked good to go. It was meant to be and I put a deposit on it and will pick it up hopefully later this week when I get my permit. I like Sigs but they are a little big for my smaller hands. I have two young sons who will be of age in a few years so I will hand it down to one of them. I'll be on the look out for another two "bargains" for my other son and my wife is expecting number three.

So there you have it.

Thanks again.


199  [Team Member]
2/5/2008 3:11:04 PM EDT
Here are the proof codes:
A = 0
B = 1
C = 2
D = 3
E = 4
F = 5
G = 6
H = 7
J = 8
K = 9
(note that the letter “I” is omitted)

Thus your P226 was proofed in 1991.

SIGs are pretty precisely fitted and come apart easier than they go back together. Pay particular attention to how the trigger/triggerbar assembly and the sear come out of the pistol since replacement can be tricky.

Also be sure to return the back leg of the triggerbar spring to the notch in the triggerbar, not the small hole in it.

FWIW, I believe has an older copy of the SIG armorer’s manual that you can download.

Good luck!

steve88GT  [Member]
2/18/2008 5:29:05 PM EDT
Thanks 199.

I have the pistol on layaway. I was going to get it but the stove took a dump and had to get a new one. Hopefully I'll have it out next week.

Again thanks guys for all of the info it is most appreciated.

119, What is with the OV-10 Bronco avatar? Were/are you USMC, Army, USAF or ATF?

I heard the ATF bought a few of them back in the mid 90's. I always liked the OV-10. One always pops up at the airshow out here. I think it is privately owned since the M-60 barrels and brakes are fake. Looks cool though.

199  [Team Member]
2/19/2008 11:29:08 AM EDT
Good luck with the P226.

Note that P226’s made before about 1990 had occasional problems with frame rail cracking. Later, heavily used P226’s will also sometimes develop this problem.
This is pretty hard to see without removing the locking insert and looking on the inside of the frame.

Suggest as soon as you get it home you check for that so you can return it immediately if you’ve got a problem.

Originally Posted By steve88GT:
..What is with the OV-10 Bronco avatar? Were/are you USMC, Army, USAF or ATF?...

I was in the Army, which didn’t have any OV-10s.

However, I did ride in the backseat of them with Air Force FACs maybe a half dozen times. (Admittedly, I spent a lot more time in the backseat of both Army and Air Force O-1 Birddogs, but if you know what they are you’ll appreciate why I prefer the OV-10.)

OV-10s were great in their day, but nowadays are hopelessly obsolete for most military purposes.

I know both the State Department and the state of California have used OV-10s, but I’ve never understood why in the world ATF would have any.
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